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Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
7111 La Jolla Blvd in beautiful La Jolla, CA
14 miles north of downtown San Diego, CA

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Build up, encourage and console others (John 4)

Monday John 4:5-9 (NRSV)
[Jesus] came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)

It was unusual for Jesus to ask this woman for a drink since she was a Samaritan and he was a Jew. It was also unusual in that day for him to speak in private to a woman he didn’t know (see verse 27).

What cultural barriers do you feel constrained by?

What cultural barriers do you ignore?

 

Tuesday John 4:10-15 (NRSV)
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus was worn out (verse 6) and he was probably thirsty. But verse ten shows that he also asked the woman for a drink because he wanted to interact with her, personally, and offer her something she could not give herself. Jesus told her, “Those who drink of the water that I give will never be thirsty; the water that I give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”

Have you received this water?

If so, what is it like?

Is it true that, having received the spring of water, you are never thirsty?

Who do you know that might be thirsty and might like to know about this living water?

Wednesday John 4:15-18 (NRSV)
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!"

Some people guess the woman went to the well at noon (instead of cooler times of the day, like dawn or dusk) to avoid other women from the town and their comments. When she said she wanted Jesus’ living water so she wouldn’t have to ever come back to the well, Jesus identified the reason: her relationship with her husband, and gave her a chance to talk about it. When she didn’t fully respond, Jesus offered the details of her life. This caused her to recognize that he was a prophet (verse 19) and to call her neighbors to come see Jesus, since he might be the Messiah (verse 29).

Paul writes to the Corinthians that he would like them all to speak in tongues but even more to prophesy (1 Cor 14:5). The reason is that prophets “speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation” and so “build up the church.” (1 Cor 14:3-4). Paul writes that the woman at the well’s reaction to prophecy is typical: “After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, ‘God is really among you.’ ”(1 Cor 14:25). You might guess that the woman wouldn’t like Jesus identifying the chief source of her shame, but instead she was grateful that he brought it to the light.

Who do you know that speaks prophetically to people, building them up, encouraging them and consoling them?

How often do you build people up, encourage them and console them?

Paul said the gift of prophecy was a gift you could ask for. Have you asked for it? Why or why not?

Thursday John 4:19-24 (NRSV)
The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

What do you think it means to worship God in spirit and truth? Do you do this?

Friday John 4:25-29 (NRSV)
The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you." Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?"

Who do you think Jesus is?

Who have you told?

Saturday John 4:30- 42 (NRSV)
They left the city and were on their way to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

If Jesus addressed the core shame of your life, like he did the woman at the well, what would it be?

What do you think Jesus would say to you about it?

How might he build you up, encourage and console you?

Who do you think Jesus is?


Check out other Bible Studies and videos for 2013 or messages for 2012 or messages for 2011.


La Jolla Lutheran Church is a member of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, a fast-growing association of churches that believe the Bible. Other LCMC churches in the San Diego area include Penasquitos Lutheran Church at 14484 Penasquitos Drive; and St. Timothy Lutheran Church at 2602 Reo Drive. Check the list of more than 800 congregations to find an LCMC church near you.

The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright, 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S. A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Visit La Jolla Lutheran Church Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

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La Jolla Lutheran Church
7111 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, California, 92037
14 miles north of downtown San Diego.

 

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